Archive for ‘Fun’

May 28, 2016

National Book Festival — 24-Sept-2016

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Love this annual event. Last year the First Family was there. The Library of Congress blog link:

March 14, 2016

Happy PI Day — 🍰

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


I am rounding up from last year to 3.1416: DAY

Happy PI DAY 2016

Tags: ,
January 25, 2016

An App from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld — #iOS # STEM

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Donald Rumsfeld in WSJ



Churchill Solitaire iOS App (in Apple App Store)

iOS App (in Apple App Store)

Let me shoot down your thoughts  quickly… no it was not a 1st-person-shooter like DOOM, nor an arcade like Missile-Defense game either. It was a card game; No it was not WAR (just stop it)!

It is a solitaire like card game invented by none other than British Prime Minister (WWII), Winston Churchill!


Proceeds (a portion) go to charities for UK & USA veterans. This is no simple solitaire.

So wimps need not download. The cost is free, but there are  In-App purchases, including, the cost of $4.99 if you want to get rid of ads and have free-play.

March 14, 2015

Good Morning, It’s PI Day – 3.14.15 9:26:53 (or #3.141592653 for short)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

PITo the #STEM worker geek in me it is a most auspicious time. Stanczyk wishes to note that it is PI day:

3/14/15  9:26:53 (or perhaps you prefer 3.141592653 for short). I know this is irrational. PI is irrational too. An irrational number that  cannot be expressed exactly as a ratio of two numbers in a fraction.  Try with these fractions: 22/7,      333/106,     355/113,      52163/16604,      103993/33102, and      245850922/78256779

Last year (2014) a guy spent 208 days computing PI to 13,300,000,000,000 digits and then a little over a week to verify its correctness.

Take a circle, any circle. Measure its circumference and its diameter. Now divide the circumference length by the diameter. What do you get? This precise moment!  3/14/15 9:26:53 .   This moment will not occur again for another twelve hours (if you use a twelve hour clock) and then not again for another hundred years. It should have been known 26 centuries BC (when they built the great pyramid) and now its the 21 more times, so this precise moment has occured no more than 47 times since PI ‘s 1st known use.

Happy PI day and Happy Birthday Einstein too!


January 26, 2015

Gotta Go — #JimHarbaughCalling — #Meme #Monday

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Zach Gentry

I read something said by the 6’7″ Quarterback from New Mexico and UM commitment (flipped from Texas), Zach Gentry who was so psyched when he received a very special phone call.


“When Harbaugh is calling, you’re excited”, was what the QB Gentry said that is going around sports writers laptops these days.


So Stanczyk, immediately thought, “There’s a meme here!” SO … what I want my friends to do is when you end an email or a Facebook or Twitter or even a blog post, write …  ‘Gotta Go #JimHarbaughCalling’ — even if you are writing/emailing President Obama!!!


——- Gotta Go #JimHarbaughCalling  📱 ][v][   #GoBlue ——-


November 9, 2014

2014 World Chess Championship — Magnus Carlsen Wins, Two-Peat

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Sochi2014 The Offical website –

Round 1 Was an exciting ebb and flow back and forth between Carlsen (black) and Anand (white) which wound down to a DRAW.

The moves with analysis can be found here …

Round 2 is today: 9th-November-2014 in five minutes ! Live Analysis is here.

Cumulative Results:



Prior Blog:

October 17, 2014

Genealogy Roadshow — Philadelphia … #Genealogy , #Media . #TV

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Stanczyk enjoys PBS and Genealogy. PBS has the excellent series Antique Roadshow so why not a Genealogy Roadshow? This is another fine genealogical series that complements the excellent work by Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr (Finding Your Roots).

Well the PBS crew, featuring  genealogists Kenyatta D. Berry, Joshua Taylor and Mary Tedesco are coming to Philadelphia, October 25th and 26th to film. This will be broadcast during the winter season coming up.

You can attend this event too. The details are on the Genealogy Roadshow website .

For those unfamiliar with Philadelphia genealogy, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP). will be featured. Many of the founding families have their genealogies recorded in book-form in a lovely room chock full of leather bound books of family histories.


September 23, 2014

Finding Your Roots — #Genealogy , #TV

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

FYR_PBSFinding Your Roots by Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.  returns to PBS tonight. The first episode features:

  • Stephen King
  • Gloria Reuben
  • Courtney B. Vance

What’s their connection? Tune in tonight on PBS.


— A Stanczyk favorite


August 8, 2014

George Timothy Clooney, Amal Ramzi Alamuddin — Marriage License — #Genealogy, #Celebrity

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Lgeorge-clooney-amal-marriage-licenseondoner Alamuddin is marrying George Clooney in Italy (It has been IntolerableCrueltyreported as in/near Venice). Didn’t I see this in a George Clooney movie before?

Ah, yes — in Intolerable Cruelty. Although this time miss Alamuddin is the lawyer and George is the divorcee.

Although if you are one of George’s cast-offs, this may be intolerable cruelty to you:

Sarah Larson, Krista Allen,  Lisa Snowdon,  Celine Belitran, Karen Duffy, Kelly Preston,  Talia Balsam [ex-wife].  [list is here, with photos]. George is the nephew of Rosemary Clooney.


This jester wishes the happy couple well and all the happiness the world has to offer !


Celebrity Genealogy.


August 7, 2014

#Book #Review — The Serpent Of Venice by Christopher Moore

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

The Serpent Of Venice  by Christopher Moore —

contact:  Christopher Moore .

The Serpent Of VeniceStanczyk is  a bibliophile, possibly even a bibliophage. Being a jester for three kings gives me an especial fondness for authors/stories that have a jester/fool as one of the characters. So Stanczyk has a special fondness for William Shakespeare. Imagine how this jester was jolted to find a story mashed-up from Shakespeare with a jester … wait-a-minute  … who has a monkey  … named Jeff? Oh rapture, huzzah! How did I miss the fact that Christopher Moore had these characters in a prior novel  … Fool? Note to self go back and buy Fool !

I had only just finished the first chapter when I realized this story was a mash-up.  It appeared to me to be a mash-up of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice (comedy) and Othello (tragedy) and Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado (mystery). I was lured by the clever riff upon the Merchant of Venice title and naïvely assumed this would be a take off of that story. But I got more, much more than even I had bargained for and a monkey named Jeff to boot.

I like to examine a book like some kind of genealogy document. What is its structure? Is there anything unusual or unexpected? How many pages/chapters? So after I read three chapters, I decided to do this kind of examination. I recommend you read the first three chapters too before you do this examination. I saw an afterword. It was by the author and he gives his deconstruction of his novel — most interesting! But it can be a bit of a spoiler. Still I did read the Afterword before I read the last chapter  … I just could not help myself. I already decided to invest myself in the book and was uproariously entertained so far. Having the author give insight, also added to my wanting to complete the book, but I did appreciate some of the inside “skinny” he gives, so I can ensure I get all that Mr. Moore dishes up.

I laughed at his wit. Its right there in the preface (called The Stage and after  the Cast [Dramatis Personae] ). So even before the story begins, the humor has already set in. So I was surprised at his droll wit — not that he had it. Its just that I had Mr. Moore pegged in my mind as a Terry Pratchett. Indeed, I assumed he was some kind of Londoner. So I was surprised when I read his Wikipedia page that he was born in Toledo, Ohio. He writes the dialogue with such obvious British humor and dialect that I had assumed British, not someone born where many of my ancestors had settled, land of the algae bloomed water supply (that has not, so far, caught fire as Lake Erie has been known to do).

The surprise character (at least I think she/it will be a surprise since I was given an inkling in the Afterword which I read beforehand) and its introduction into the storyline called to mind for me, a bit of Beowulf. Especially since this story was already known by me (before the Afterword) to be a mash-up, so perhaps I was now hunting for mash in this uplifting and funny story. So many of the characters are very likeable that I do not know who to cheer for and who to jeer for. What a delightful diversion.

Its a novel in a guise of a play. Hence, the Cast and the Stage. But there is also a Chorus (like some kind of Greek play) and the Chorus is a character too! The book is so clever, this jester decided to Follow @TheAuthorGuy on Twitter.

Stanczyk recommends this book to all who like a good story infused with humor ala Pratchett. Its absurdist proportions appeal to my Slavic soul. The meta joke that an American can write the British dialect with such humor and panache will appeal to Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams fans.  Do not wait for this book to become available as an e-book on your library’s e-book facility, the line is too long. Go directly to your local library (or bookstore) and get the physical copy — much quicker than waiting for the Overdrive download to become available. I guess most people are afraid to enter the physical world and reticent to  leave their Internet bus stop. Excuse me, I will have to go to Marseilles now.

July 13, 2014

World Cup 2014 – Envisaged Through 2 Popes – #Soccer #Futbol

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

In about three hours the World Cup, 2014 edition championship game will commence. Each team is represented by a Pope or a Pope Emeritus. So you know this is going to be religious battle for both teams … and soccer fans everywhere.

God’s Will !800px-Flag_of_Argentina

This jester has served a few kings and if I were pressured to prognosticate the outcome beforehand. I would have to go with Pope Francis and pick Argentina. You don’t Mess With Messi!

What is your pick?

July 1, 2014

Who Do You Think You Are – UK? #UK, #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

WDYTYA_QmWho are the UK celebs of, “Who Do You Think You Are“?  Stanczyk does not watch the UK TV,  but this blog is #Global. But, I would watch the episode on Twiggy .

Why not bring some WDYTYA episodes from overseas back to the USA?

The details are at: http://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.comUK .


UK Stars:

Mary Berry,   Brian Blessed,   Billy Connolly,   Brendan O’Carroll,

Martin Shaw,   Sheridan Smith,   Twiggy,   Julie Walters,   Reggie Yates,  Tamzin Outhwaite

June 17, 2014

2014 Mens Chess Championship Tournament – FIDE Chooses Sochi

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

FIDE Tournament Host Selection

Perhaps you had a bad case of triskaidekaphobia  and missed last Friday’s announcement that the Men’s 2014 Chess Championship will be held in Sochi this November. The re-match between Magnus Carlsen & Viswanathan Anand will be hosted in Sochi.

The agreement between Putin and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (FIDE President) will perhaps salvage Sochi’s reputation after all of the Olympic insults about it being less than suitable, unfinished site. This tournament will also be juxtaposed against the political climate since Russia annexed Crimea after Sochi Olympics.

The chess tournament  is also going to be challenged by Russian finances, as the Bloomberg article indicates that Russia needs to add an extra  $58 Billion to ease their bank system’s funding shortage putting  at least one bank:

Sberbank is between Scylla and Charybdis  

— an analyst at BCS Financial Group

Toss in a former chess champion, Russian Activist, Garry Kasparov (Га́рри Ки́мович Каспа́ров) and this tournament has all the making of another drama that could blow up in the face of FIDE and/or Putin. Stanczyk loves Slavic dramas!

Putin and Ilyumzhinov

Vladimir Putin and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (FIDE)

December 15, 2013

What Was I Thinking ? 2013 A Look Back … — #2013, #Muse, #Review

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is of the age when I remember reading Art Buchwald ‘s Pulitzer Prize winning commentary columns. I was particularly fond of his annual columns that repeated every year (like his Thanksgiving column where Miles Standish became the more French/metric Kilometres Deboutish) — so today’s blog is an attempt to start an annual tradition of a look back … 2013.

Now how to recall my life and thoughts in 2013? How do I elaborate upon my thoughts / muses ?

Should  I summarize my blog posts? Recall major events? Highlight genealogical news? No! I had a brainstorm. I would review my year through TWITTER tweets; To be precise — just those tweets that I FAVORITED. Kind of a highlight of my best 140 characters in my twitter stream in 2013.

Why? Because I now want to propose that you my gentle-readers, also embark on this social experiment right along with me in 2014. This year I had no forethought. But next year, I want to capture the most compelling news stories or fascinating thoughts in science, religion, books, genealogy, etc.

Why FAVORITES? To limit the volume by sifting through the twitter stream. So I propose we use Twitter’s Favorite (star) and/or the tag:  #2014Review  to isolate just those tweets that we deem most worthy of saving/repeating  at the end of the year.

Why you too? Because it will make a fascinating social study for some scientist somewhere to study Cloud-Think. Or possibly years from now some Historian plowing through the Library of Congress who collects all of our tweets will want to study the history of our thought, our collective brain power.  What were they thinking?  Well future historians … here is what was on our minds.

Back to my 2013 Year in Review. I was stunned by the volume of tweets that I “Favorited“. I guess I never thought about it before. I had been using my “Favorites” to be my twitter stream book-marks so I could recall something later on. Well a quick scan told me that I favorited responses from followers, or my wife. I also seemed to be obsessed with the University of Michigan (#GoBlue). I also had a slight penchant for clever humor (that being humor that struck my funny bone) too. Scan my two PDF documents, perhaps you will find an interesting tweet that you had missed in 2013. You may even find a new Twitter account that you want to follow ( Stanczyk assumes you already follow @Stanczyk_   … correct?  If not, then do not let 2013 end without following my twitter stream.

I  created two PDF documents of the Tweet Favorites:  JAN-AUG (1.8MB size),    SEP-DEC (448K size)


JAN – 100 tiny swarming robots @ Harvard,   iPhone 5s leaked images (arrives in Fall), French Court orders Twitter to release racist / Anti-Semitic users
FEB – PopSci – software that unveils the evolution of words, Pope Benedykt resigns (and the other 4 popes who resigned),
MARGender Bias in US Visas, Tweet to fix a bug (and they did!), OpenStack – Cloud Scalability
APRBoston Marathon Bombing (Tsarnaew Saga), Louisville vs Michigan in Mens Basketball Final,
MAY – Oldest Known Torah Found, Genealogy Roadshow & UM 2013 Football Schedule Annonced
JUN – Patent Trolls  &  Turnip Truck (must have been a slow month)
JUL – The Internet Minute Infographic, Maurice Sendak‘s 1971 Yale Course, Forbes tweeted best companies for #STEM workers
AUG – Irish Poet, Translator Seamus Heaney died.; Oxford added to English language (Selfie). @MrMrs_ES was conceived.
SEP – All Tolstoy‘s works online, DISRUPTION in Management Consulting?,   Diana Nyad swims Cuba to USA
OCT Tea Party Shutdown of government [Carrot Tree Kitchen defies shutdown]; Amazon to create 6,000 jobs in Poland;   14th Amendment – Shutdown Solution? Lincoln Quote on coffee/tea [humor]
NOV – “Thanksgivukkah“, Pope Francis revives/revitalizes chief-alms giver, Kepler telescope found 833 exo-planets before it failed,
DEC Ukraine unrest over EU treaty delay, Foxconn to build plant in Pennsylvania, UM vs Kansas in BWWB on Dec 25

It looks like I did not FAVORITE a few things:

  1. Mandela died
  2. Prince George was born and subsequently baptised [very big in this blog]
  3. Pope Francis is inaugurated March 19th  [Argentinean Cardinal]
  4. Edward Snowden -release NSA data [June 2013]
  5. US Government restarted
  6. US Stock Market Highs
  7. Higgs Boson Discovery confirmed / Peter Higgs gets Nobel Prize

Most were in blogs or Facebook or in Twitter Tweets – just not favorited. So it is with this new found self assessment that I enter into 2014 and I resolve to record my FAVORITEs (and/or use #2014Review) to attempt to capture the most important events throughout 2014. Oh, I will undoubtably use it for bookmarks and humor or so I can find UM Football Schedule too.  But I want to make a concerted effort to record current events for future historians from my eyes. How about you? Who is with me in this, Cloud-Think meme and will FAVORITE their tweets (or tag them #2014Review)?

Happy Holidays and a Happy Healthy & Prosperous New Year to you,  my readers!

Thank you for making 2013 the most-read year so far for this blog — there were over 21,000 reads in 2013 alone!


September 8, 2013

NCAA Football 2013 — Post Week 2 #BigTen, #B1G

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

WeekPostSo far the college football season has been great:  Clemson-Georgia, Georgia-SC, Michigan-Notre Dame, Florida-Miami, Texas-BYU, plus a few FBS teams beat FCS teams. Its early but how are things shaping up relative to inter-conference play ?

So far the Big 10 (which as twelve teams in contrast to the Big 12 which has ten teams — but ignore the names).

Big 10:   only three losses

ACC:      only five losses, beat the SEC in two head-to-head, two ACC-on-ACC, so three losses really

PAC 12:  only four losses, one of which was PAC12-on-PAC12, so lets call it three losses

SEC:       only six losses, two of which were SEC-on-SEC contests so lets call it four losses

Big 12:   only five losses, one of which was BIG12-on-BIG12 so really four losses

So Big 10,  ACC,  and PAC 12 are the leaders so far in inter-conference play. Who are soaking up the losses? American Athletic (9 losses, really 8),  Mid American (15, really 14), Conference USA (16, really 15), and the Independents (including Notre Dame) with only six teams have seven losses.

So it is this jester’s opinion that the National polls are skewed to the SEC (which to be fair has won the National Title so many years in a row). None the less, the rankings need to be re-balanced upon this season’s truth not on last season’s results.

Next Week …

No. 1 Alabama vs No. 7 Texas A&M  — Must see Game

No. 18 UCLA     vs No. 22 Nebraska   — Very Compelling Game

Tennessee at No. 2 Oregon

No. 3 Ohio State at California

No. 20 Washington at Illinois

Ole Miss at No. 15 Texas

No. 14 Notre Dame at Purdue

No. 21 Wisconsin at Arizona State

No. 8 Louisville at Kentucky

Boston College at No. 25 USC  — (only interesting ACC  inter-conference game)

A lot of Big 10 vs PAC 12 games this week.


My Picks …

Texas A&M over Alabama in an upset. TAMU is at home, but BAMA has had a week to prepare so it will be close. Alabama’s reign is over!

Nebraska over UCLA in a mild upset. Again Nebraska is at home and they have looked like a juggernaut. Nebraska has two games, but UCLA has two weeks to prepare. Stats slightly favor UCLA over Nebraska so I guess it is just the home field advantage I am hanging my hat on and Big Red having two games under its belt. Almost a toss-up.

Winners – Oregon,  Ohio State,  Notre Dame,  Wisconsin,  Louisville,

Toss Ups –  Washington/Illinois,  Ole Miss/Texas,   Boston College/USC

Wisconsin looks like Fielding Yost Point-A-Minute team, unscored upon so far. The biggest lock. It will be high scoring game (no defense played here unless it is by Wisconsin).

On the Toss-Ups take the home teams. USC must watch out for Boston College though.

August 23, 2013

Genealogy On TV … — #Genealogy, #PBS, #GenealogyRoadshow

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

GRS_LogoIt is now 1 month away from PBS’s Genealogy Roadshow. The series initial program airs Monday, September 23rd at 9:00pm EDT (1am GMT). The show is based upon the Irish TV version of the same name that PBS optioned and is produced by Krasnow Productions in the US.

Every Monday, 9/23 (Detroit, MI),  9/30 (Austin, TX), 10/7 (Nashville, TN), 10/14 (San Francisco, CA) PBS will air the one hour shows that will embody, “part detective story, part emotional journey, combining history and science to uncover fascinating stories of diverse Americans.”  The PBS show  uses  science and history to tell/verify genealogical stories with the most compelling finds shown on air in historic local settings. The four cities were chosen for their diversity of the American genealogical experience. The producers are breaking new ground, with a format that features an expert team of genealogists investigating ordinary people’s stories and then presenting them to a live roadshow  audience in an historical setting.

Stanczyk will be waiting … anxiously.

May 30, 2013

Koziolek Matolek 80 Years ! — #Polish, #Culture, #Pacanow

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Happy Birthday  Matolek, sto lat. Koziolek Matolek (Matolek the Billy-goat) was born in 1933. You Koziolek_80Yearsmight say he put Pacanow “on the map”. You see Matolek wanted to go to Pacanow because he heard that you could get good (goat) shoes in Pacanow.

Now this charming character has always had a special place in Stanczyk’s heart, because my great-grandfather, Tomasz Leszczynski was a shoe-maker (szewc) / inn keeper. So perhaps Matolek would have bought his shoes from my great-grandfather. Did he ever find Pacanow? I do not know.

Koziolek Matolek (Matolek the Billy-goat) was the creation of  Kornel Makuszyński (story) and Marian Walentynowicz (art).

Well, it is now 80 years later and Pacanow is celebrating this cult-favorite May 31st – June 2 this year! Their program can be found here . Like Matolek, I too have been trying to get to Pacanow.

March 21, 2013

RootsTech 2013 … — #Genealogy, #RootsTech, #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


iGoogle as customized for Stanczyk

Today is the start of RootsTech 2013. So in honor of the conference I will blog today about  Genealogy, and Technology.

Last year Google announced it was getting rid of iGoogle and now this week it said it was getting rid of its RSS Reader (hence probably why they announced iGoogle was going away). So I have decided how I will replace these two tools in my portable genealogy toolbox. My Solution … the FlipBoard app.


FlipboardThe screenshot above (at the top) shows a portion of my iGoogle (still available until July). As you can surmise, I used it as a newspaper dashboard for keeping me abreast of the genealogy news in my focus areas. You may have noticed it is quite TEXTUAL. As such, it lacks appeal and ease of scanability. This is where Flipboard app comes in.  Now Stanczyk was not using Google’s Reader … that is directly. I think iGoogle probably was a tool that used its own Reader (RSS feeds). It gave me the ability to have a genealogy dashboard (or portal as we used to say). Flipboard will however import your Google Reader. There are other alternatives like Pulse or even WordPress that can import your RSS subscriptions for you. But this jester likes FlipBoard.

As you see, Flipboard is visually appealing and easily, quickly scanable. What you may not realize that these Flipboard “blocks” are the same feeds I had in the iGoogle tool. However, now my Eastman Online Genealogy and my GenealogyBlog are visual. Notice I was able to also get my Ancestry Member Connect Activity feed too! So I have everything I had before in a kind of retro “Life Magazine” visually appealing way  updated for the Internet age ! I actually think of Flipboard as my Internet Magazine that is finely attuned to MY interests. But as you see, you can use it as your genealogy dashboard of what is going on currently in genealogy (or any topic you are interested in).

You may not have noticed in the Flipboard image, I have my own blog in the lower left corner. When you click on that “block” it takes to my “section”. Where my own blog posts are very attractively displayed in the Flipboard magazine style. Very nice!


Flipboard runs on your smartphone or your tablet. I really like how it looks on the tablet (iPad in my case). Seeing my blog in Flipboard changed my style of writing a blog. I wanted my blog posts to look good and be visually appealing in Flipboard. So now I take some extra measures to make sure it will  look good, but I have to admit that Flipboard does most of the work and it does make your blog look good.

Flipboard can take your Twitter feed, or Facebook or Blog or even a custom RSS Feed like my Ancestry Member Connect Activity. It even takes Flickr or LinkedIn or just about anything you may use in your social networking / media creation world.

So I am no longer sad that iGoogle or the underlying Google Reader are going away. I have evolved and I am using Flipboard and I am much happier. I can keep tabs and I can keep informed and I am frequently entertained too. What a great app!

Hey add “Stanczyk Internet Muse” to your Flipboard. Enjoy RootsTech 2013 too!

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